Saudi Arabia

Joint Congressional Letter Questions Saudi Arms Deal

11/15/2010

(JTA) -- A joint congressional letter raising concerns and asking questions about a proposed $60 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia was delivered to Obama administration officials.

The bipartisan letter, signed by 198 U.S. lawmakers, was delivered Nov. 12 to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Foreign Policy magazine reported.

The letter was coordinated jointly by outgoing House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Howard Berman (D-Calif.) and incoming chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), according to the report.

The Arab Lobby and the Palestinians

09/29/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

While Israel’s detractors have obsessively scrutinized, mischaracterized and demonized the Israeli lobby, the equally powerful Arab lobby has been studiously ignored. In fact, some people deny it exists -- or if it does, that its power pales in contrast to the all-powerful AIPAC. As proof, they often point to the failure to create a Palestinian state. Surely, these critics maintain, if the Arab Lobby is really as powerful as people like me say it is, a Palestinian state would long ago have been established.

Saudi arms sales, Israel and the unstoppable economics of proliferation

My friend Doug Bloomfield, a syndicated columnist and former legislative director of AIPAC, just broke the story of how the Israeli government – and AIPAC – have signed off on a new and staggeringly big sale of U.S. F-15 fighters to Saudi Arabia.

Israel Reportedly OKs U.S.-Saudi Arms Deal

09/15/2010

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Israel has privately signed off on a proposed arms deal between the United States and Saudi Arabia, a Washington columnist reported.

At $60 billion, the deal is the most expensive arms deal ever. It will be spread out over five to 10 years.

Syndicated columnist Douglas Bloomfield reported Tuesday that Israel has privately blessed the sale, citing U.S. congressional, Israeli and lobby sources.

Gay Saudi Diplomat Fears Persecution

09/13/2010

(JTA) -- A Saudi Arabian diplomat based in Los Angeles has requested political asylum because he is gay and close friends with a Jewish woman.

The diplomat was identified Saturday by NBC News as Ali Ahmad Asseri, the first secretary of the Saudi consulate in Los Angeles. Asseri said he was effectively fired from his position since his diplomatic passport was not renewed by Saudi officials. He told NBC in an email message that he would be killed if he returned to Saudi Arabia.

Arab lobby? What Arab lobby?

 As a journalist covering the Middle East beat in Washington, I've always wondered about the lack of a strong pro-Arab lobby in Washington. So I'm pretty intrigued with Mitchell Bard's new book, The Arab Lobby: The Invisible Alliance That Undermines America’s Interests in the Middle East - which argues that I'm wrong, and that there is one.

The real powerhouse Middle East lobby in Washington isn't AIPAC, Bard argues, but a diffuse but potent pro-Arab lobby run and funded by the Saudis.

U.S. to Sell F-15 Fighter Jets to Saudis

08/09/2010

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The United States plans to sell F-15 fighter jets to Saudi Arabia, but made clear to an anxious Israel that it won’t include long-range weapons systems.

The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that the Obama administration said it would sell 84 F-15 planes to Saudi Arabia in a 10-year, $30 billion deal.

Saudi Proposal Gaining Steam

03/01/2002
Staff Writer
As European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana sought further clarification this week of a Saudi statement that promised true Middle East peace, the idea that Israel would no longer be virtually isolated amid hostile Arab neighbors brought a glimmer of hope to Israelis still reeling from a week that left some 70 Israelis and Palestinians dead.

Dancing With The Saudis

08/03/2007
Staff Writer
The promise of Saudi Arabia Wednesday to attend this fall’s American-sponsored regional conference on the Israeli-Palestinian crisis received mixed reviews from analysts — one called it a “welcome development” while another was wary of strings that might be attached. Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal told a press conference that his country is “interested in the peace conference ... and will discuss it and we will make sure that we attend the conference.

Refugee Issue Complicates Saudi Plan

03/30/2007
Staff Writer
Saudi Arabia was seen this week as the key to a future peace agreement between Israel and the rest of the Arab world. “The Saudis are trying to find a [compromise] between the Israelis and the other Arab parties in which all are satisfied,” said Yitzchak Reiter, a fellow of the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. “I’m not sure they will succeed.”
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